Week of Surprises

Monday we dropped Sister Stewart off to go to the temple and headed over to our ward Memorial Day breakfast. There was an awesome turn out even S. came! Then Sister Eaton and I drove with C. B. & I went to go hiking at Great Falls in McLean.  Not long after we took off we got in a car accident.


It was not bad like the Elders though.  Fortunately just a fender bender. But what are the chances right? We did eventually make it up to the Falls and it was beautiful. It was fun to spend time with the S. girls and get to know them better. I. is getting baptized in just a couple weeks. And BARBARA is doing awesome!

We also had a BBQ with our neighbors C. & S. They had a big Memorial Day cookout.  Well... they pretty much have big cookouts every weekend but this one was for Memorial Day.  And yes... we played more corn hole. Sister Stewart dominated as usual which is kind of lame.

Tuesday we had this big meeting we called a "Tiwi Training." They installed these devices in our car that track our speed and aggressive driving.  If we surpass the speed limit or drive aggressively it sends a notice to our Mission President and he can revoke our driving
privileges. Also he knows where our car is at all times of the day. It's a stalker system too. Imagine that? So that was a hoot.

We had to take our car in and switch it for a brand spankin' new mini van.  Right off the lot. So that's fun. It has a cool camera, touch screen audio system and Blue tooth so that's fun. Still not over how ugly it is, but whatever.

Tuesday night we taught Josh again at the K. house.  We talked about the priesthood in order to prepare for him to receive the Aaronic priesthood. He remembers like everything about the organization of the church which is cool because I don't even understand it half the time so I was impressed. Also I got a copy of his Holy Ghost talk he wrote because it was so good :) I stuck it in one of my many journal scrap book things. yayaya. He is also speaking at the new member fireside this transfer! Every transfer at the end there is a fireside hosted by the Mission President and the Stake President of each individual stake and new members that had been baptized recently or returned to
activity share five minute talks about their conversion story and the blessings of the gospel and the atonement of Jesus Christ. They are sweet. So Josh and Barbara are going to speak at this one. It's on the twenty first, right before I come home.

My legs got eaten up by Mosquito's this week which is no Bueno I literally just got over the whole bed bug thing. My legs are nasty. 29 MORE DAYS. Makenna said y'all were switching back rooms :) I'm excited. These next few weeks are going to fly by I can feel it already.

Weird. Weird. Weird.

As we were planning this week I looked at our white board calendar and realized that the weeks that were posted on there are my last weeks of my mission. I think it kind of hit me for a second that all this weird and cool and exciting and spiritual stuff we do all the time will no longer be the social norm in a few short weeks, and I almost teared up
a little bit... 

I'm really going to miss this place. Especially Fort Belvoir.  I'm so blessed that I get to wrap up my mission in the most hopping zone and the coolest area within that zone, with two awesome companions. I couldn't have planned it any better myself. It really will be sad to
leave the Fort. But I'm excited to be home. I'm tied up between two completely different realities. It's giving me a brain aneurysm just thinking about it.

We went on two exchanges this week, with Alexandria Sisters and Kingstowne sisters. So that made the week fly by. We have found quite a good handful of new investigators to start teaching and have some solid potential investigators as well. We met this cute little old lady from Thailand that wants to come to church with us, she lives by Josh so he will probably give her rides. We also met our neighbors roommate S. and he knows he needs to get back into being spiritual because he lost everything and realized that God really has answered his prayers in getting him to where he's at now. We're also teaching P. who is a Vietnam war vet and promised us he would come try out our church. Keep them in your prayers!

We were at dinner with P. the other day and he was complaining about his teeth (because he doesn't have very many he only has a few) and I was like hey just remember there is someone else out in the world who feels your pain. And he was like what? And I was like yeah! It's true! My nineteen year old brother! See? And I showed him a picture of Dylan.


He didn't think it was nearly as funny as I did. He was just like "oh man, what's his name? I'll be praying for that one."


Also we went to an AA meeting this week with J. and these ladies came and talked to us and we're saying all these weird things about how they have so many LDS friends and they love LDS people and Mormons and how all Mormons are so great except for the jack Mormons... And I was like uhhhh what the? And Josh was like "what's a jack Mormon?"
And she was like "you know a Mormon who grows up in the church but falls away."
And Josh ever so seriously was like "that's why we have home teaching!"

I cried.

Josh is the greatest human soul.
I think he's hilarious.


Saturday Sister Stewart got her TRUNKY papers, THAT was crazy. She only has two transfers left. It'll go by fast. Sunday Josh got the Aaronic priesthood and his temple recommend. AND there was a missionary panel where the youth and all adults met together the third hour and talked about missionary work. They had a handful of people who have been baptized in the past year share their experience with the church and their testimony and conversion story. Both BARBARA and Josh spoke at it along with several other people who are super awesome in the ward. It was so powerful. Every single testimony. The spirit was so strong and I think it impacted the ward a lot. Not that the ward isn't already a stellar missionary minded ward, but I think it brought everyone even closer together.

Bishop got up afterward and bore his testimony and he even was all teary eyed. It was just really really cool. A great way to end church. I'm going to miss this kind of stuff. Josh and BARBARA are both such prepared people they are so incredible.

We actually had a pretty good district meeting this week about keeping focus. Our district leader talked about those lessons we have with investigators where they lose focus and we get frustrated. Because we see their potential, and we love them so much, and we know they can do better but they're simply not because their focus isn't in the right
place. We went through this whole meeting discussing this and discussing focus. And then he turned it around and applied it to us and God.

He talked about how this lesson (a mission, or life) is the greatest lesson of all, and from the greatest teacher too! God is teaching us. And sometimes we lose focus. And it must be incredibly frustrating because God sees our potential and he loves us. He knows what we can become and he wants us to get there, he wants the best for us! He sees the bigger picture, but we as mortal human beings lose focus. All the time!

It was an interesting parallel. I hadn't looked at it that way before.
But truly, it's so important to keep our focus.

To keep our focus on Christ and our eternal potential and our eternal destination. 

We lose sight of that so often, all of us do. But we have more potential than that. It's so important that we constantly keep our priorities in check and our eyes on the end goal and not do anything that will deter us from that end goal.

I'm grateful for the goals I've been able to set and the opportunity to reevaluate my focus and my priorities over the past eighteen months. I really will miss some of the amazing people and experiences I've been able to be a part of throughout the course of my mission in Virginia. I really do love this place. I really do love these people. Sometimes it's difficult. But other times it's surreal, the love I feel here.

I'm mostly grateful for my Heavenly Father. For a loving God who watches over me. He's really made his hand very apparent in my life, and helped me open my eyes enough to see it.

I can't believe it's June.
I can't believe it's been eighteen months.
I can't believe it.

Sister Stucki
June 1, 2015
Sent from my iPad

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